Mines Board honors professor

GOLDEN, Colo., Dec. 17, 2008 – Colorado School of Mines professor Thomas Furtak has been awarded the prestigious Mines Board of Trustees Outstanding Faculty Award.

Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Michael Nyikos and Dr. Thomas Furtak
The award, which is not intended to be given each year, is designed to recognize the special contributions of a faculty member who has been at Mines for a minimum of three years and made a significant positive impact on student learning with special emphasis on teaching outside the classroom. It consists of a plaque, a check for $2,000 and support for research goals totaling $1,000. 
Furtak, who is head of Mines’ physics department, was nominated for the award by his students and colleagues for the important contributions he has made to the Mines campus in the development of the Studio Physics Teaching Methodology. 
“The introductory physics course in mechanics Dr. Furtak created around this concept positively affects the educational experience of every undergraduate student entering Mines, and his studio method is now being extended to the electro-magnetism and optics course and to a distance delivery version of the mechanics course,” said Dr. Michael Nyikos, Mines board of trustees chairman.
“Furtak is an exemplar of quality and excellence as a teacher and scholar — and as a member of the Mines community and the broader national and international community,” Nyikos added.
Because of Furtak’s work, Mines stands out in the national scene as a leading model of education reform in physics at the introductory level. Mines students make remarkably high learning gains in introductory physics as a result of the implementation of his innovative approaches. 
Past recipients of the award include Tracy Camp, professor of mathematical and computer sciences; David Matlock, professor of metallurgical engineering; Robert Baldwin, emeritus professor of chemical engineering; Nigel Middleton, provost and senior vice president for strategic enterprises; and Samuel Romberger, a professor in the geology and geological engineering department.
Founded in 1874, Colorado School of Mines was established to serve the needs of the local mining industry. Today, the School has an international reputation for excellence in both engineering education and the applied sciences with special expertise in the development and stewardship of the Earth's resources. For more information about Colorado School of Mines, visit www.mines.edu.
Karen Gilbert, Public Relations Specialist
303-273-3541 / Karen.Gilbert@is.mines.edu
Marsha Williams, Director of Integrated Marketing Communications
303-273-3326 / marswill@mines.edu



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